Heck of a Job


One of the issues on which John McCain has allegedly broken with George W. Bush is the latter’s handling of Hurricane Katrina. Basically, things started when Bush appointed a bunch of incompetent people and McCain raised no objections to this. Then the hurricane hit, while Bush and McCain were hanging out together at a birthday party in Arizona. Then there was all this tragic loss and life and destruction of property. Then people got very upset. Then McCain criticized Bush. And then when congress tried to investigate what happened, he voted against it. But then, later, when trying to claim independence from Bush he lied and said he had supported ever investigation.

So the difference is clear. Meanwhile, Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman, and Michael Powell report on Sarah Palin’s approach to governance:

So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.

Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages.

Needless to say, this is where Michael Browns come from. Not only the cronyism of Palin’s approach to running the state of Alaska, but the nonchalance with which John McCain chooses his subordinates. Is arguably a maverick? Check. Social conservatives like her? Check. Let’s roll. Nevermind questions about her suitability for office or ability to contribute constructively to an organization. And of course what you see once you’re staffing the executive branch is that you can’t actually fill thousands of jobs with your own cronies. Friends of friends who you don’t even know anything about. Unless, that is, you’re careful and make sure to staff the top ranks of your administration with people of integrity who you’re confident will make responsible hiring decisions.